The frustration of Texas legislators with the State Board of Education‘s continuing efforts to drag public schools into the culture wars was so high that the confirmation of Gov. Rick Perry’s appointment of Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas, to another term as board chair this year never made it to the Senate floor. In fact, the Senate Nominations Committee didn’t even bother to hold a public hearing.
Archive for the ‘2011 legislative update’ Category
It’s a biennial legislative tradition in Texas — trotting out a new batch of devious proposals to merge religion and government and attack religious pluralism. And 2011 was no exception. As the dust settles, the news on this front is mostly good for advocates of religious freedom, as none of the problematic legislation TFN worked to oppose on this issue ultimately made it to the governor’s desk. This should be considered a major victory, given the influx of culture warriors who joined the Texas Legislature this session.
Here are some highlights:
Tea Party, and religious-right and other anti-government fanatics launched full-scale attacks on public education, religious freedom and women’s health in the regular and special sessions of the Texas Legislature this year. Over the next week, TFN Insider will recap what happened on major TFN issues during the two sessions. Up today: private school vouchers.
Voucher advocates made two major efforts to pass an enormously expensive scheme to drain billions of dollars from Texas public schools — a last-minute amendment to a major budget bill in the regular session and a stand-alone bill, HB 33, in the special session. Both of those efforts to subsidize private and religious schools through so-called “taxpayer savings grants” failed in the face of solid opposition from TFN, our partners in the Coalition for Public Schools and other supporters of public education.